Are mice nibbling away at your car tyres in the garage? Are rats having a go at the antiques in your attic? You may want to support a recent Kickstarter campaign where Toby Bateson, of Truro-based Hammer Technologies Ltd, has designed a humane solution to keep rodents away from where you don’t want them – The RatMat.
“I need help to raise the initial funds to help make this long-term, humane pest control a reality”
Toby tells us he was inspired to create the RatMat after his father-in-law told him that rats had damaged his car and it needed a total rewire: “The bill came to more than £7000, wasn’t covered by insurance and he was upset. Everyone he asked said there was nothing he could do as he lived near a river and so even if the rats were trapped, more would come.
“I immediately realised the solution; I told him he needed to electrify the floor so the rats couldn’t get near the car. There were no products available to do this so I set about developing one myself.”
The RatMat was born
The RatMat can fit under or around objects you want to protect, and gives any little intruders an electric shock if they tread on it.
This isn’t some fly-by-night project either. Toby explains: “I have spent six years researching and developing the RatMat to provide classic and valuable car owners with a cost-effective and long-term solution to costly and inconvenient damage caused by rats and mice.” This includes two years of product development where he tested the RatMat in real-world situations. During this time the flooring was 100% effective in deterring rodents from items placed directly on the mat. In the cases where rodents were filmed being repelled by the flooring, none of them returned.
“The South West is an ideal base for innovation and creation”
The RatMat was developed with renowned Cornwall-based industrial design consultants Dufort Associates who helped Toby with “skillful product design and prototyping”. Toby also had help from others to get the product to where it is now: ” The South West is an ideal base for innovation and creation. I found some incredibly resourceful and enthusiastic people and without them the project wouldn’t be what it is today. FatCalf Media in Tavistock made me an amazing launch film and WildWest PR in Truro have promoted the campaign which has had a huge reach. Alan Shiner from Lead Graphics in St Austell created an awesome logo. I would recommend all of them.”
Using the principles of an electric fence the RatMat device is made up of inter-lockable tiles with a conductive steel surface, that lie flat on the ground. The tiles are completely safe, scalable and transportable and can double as a hard-wearing floor surface. At 7,000 volts, it’s less powerful than the electric fence you’d find around cattle fields (10,000+ volts), ensuring the shock, while being unpleasant, won’t hurt any rodent intruders.
The proceeds of the crowdfunding campaign will mostly be spent on factory tooling and the shipment and supply of the product to users. Any extra will be spent on growing the company and expanding overseas markets. As Toby says: “I have a prototype and evidence that it works, but now I need help to raise the initial funds to help make this long-term, humane pest control a reality. I am really excited that the project has reached this stage and hope the Kickstarter generates the interest we need to bring this to market.”
If you want to see this product become a reality, you can support the RatMat’s £65,000 Kickstarter campaign until Monday 24 July. You can see more about RatMat and Toby’s other projects at the Hammer Tech Ltd website and by following them on Twitter here: @HammerTechLtd